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"[Science fiction] is the only kind of writing that allows you to look at the world we live in and change one piece at a time."
- Frederik Pohl

Planet-Busting Bomb  
  A munition with sufficient power to destroy an entire planet.  

This is a very early (maybe the first) fictional reference.

Somebody had slipped when Marshall Wellington Smith selected Rigel IV for his planet-busting test.
Technovelgy from Testing, by J.J. Ferrat.
Published by Fantastic Universe in 1956
Additional resources -

In Frank Herbert's 1972 novel The Godmakers, Lewis Orne was sent to the planet Gienah to see if it was a safe planet for further development.

This one calls for one planet-buster bomb, buster. In five days. Unless you give them a white bill in the meantime. High Commissioner Bullone will have word of this planet by then. If Gienah still exists in five days, can you imagine the fun the politicians'll have with it? Oh Mamma! Orne, we want this planet cleared for contact or dead before then.

The term is not original with Ferrat; it was discussed briefly in "sf fact" articles as early as 1950.

Compare to the magnetic shell from The Great Stone of Shardis (1897) by Frank Stockton, the atomic bomb from The World Set Free (1914) by HG Wells, the atomic shell from Buck Rogers: 2430 AD (1929) by Nowlan and Calkin, the roving bomb from Lost Rocket (1941) by Manly Wade Wellman, the Wabbler from The Wabbler (1942) by Murray Leinster and the smart bullet from Runaway (1985) by Michael Crichton.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Testing
  More Ideas and Technology by J.J. Ferrat
  Tech news articles related to Testing
  Tech news articles related to works by J.J. Ferrat

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